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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No real positive messages.
Positive Role Models
No real positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Constant MMA violence. Blood. Broken bones. A drunk man outside of a strip club attacks people with a broken bottle before getting knocked out by one of the protagonists. Police officers attempt to assault a handcuffed African American man. Some bullying: Three young men physically and verbally bully a young man who works in a comic book store.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief female nudity, breasts. Sex scene, with body parts strategically covered by hair, camera angles. One of the protagonists autographs a woman's breast. The word "tap" used as innuendo. When it's discovered that the father of a protagonist is gay, characters make various jokes and references to anal sex. Some scenes in a strip club: Women dance in bra and panties. A receptionist in a doctor's office is overheard on the phone saying "those [MMA] guys can have me any day of the week."
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Constant profanity. "F--k" and variations used dozens of times. "S--t," "d--k," "a--hole," "bitch," "blows," "douche bag." A white police officer frequently threatens to take an African American's "black ass" to jail. References and jokes about anal sex when it's discovered that the father of one of the protagonists is gay.
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Products & Purchases
Abita Beer signage.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking in bars, strip clubs, and at the MMA event. A severely drunk man outside a strip club attacks the owner, dancers, and clientele with a broken bottle.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown is a 2011 movie in which four young men from different walks of life decide to compete in an MMA "beatdown." It's not a direct sequel to the 2008 Never Back Down. It should surprise no one that there's constant MMA-style violence: punching and kicking, boxing and wrestling, blood and broken bones. There's also brief female nudity (breasts), and a sex scene in which all private parts are strategically covered by long hair or camera angles. When it's discovered that the father of one of the fighters came out of the closet as gay and left his family because of it, jokes and references to homosexual stereotypes and anal sex are made at the fighter's expense, shown to be an easy way to get him riled up, and while there seems to be some acceptance toward the end of his father, there's a general intolerance on display throughout the movie. There's constant profanity, including regular uses of "f--k" and its variations. A severely drunk man outside a strip club attacks the owner, dancers, and clientele with a broken bottle. Overall, this is a low-budget movie best enjoyed by fans of MMA. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If only the actors in this sequel had spent a little less time in the gym and more time in the Drama Club. If only the filmmakers spent less time on the fight scenes and more on the fundamentals of scriptwriting, character development, and conflict. If only the production values were less amateurish. Then maybe Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown could have been something entertaining for those who aren't superfans of MMA. But even then, probably not. Aside from the demographic fond of saying, "'Sup, brah?" in a nonironic fashion, it's hard to imagine anyone else seeing this as anything more than cheesy B movie fare.
While the dyed-black emo haircut of one of the characters is certainly dated, what's even more dated is the overall attitudes everyone has over the fact that the father of one of the lead characters has come out as gay after leaving his family. While the movie attempts to show that Mike isn't mad that his father is gay -- rather, he's mad that he left his family -- it's clear throughout that Mike is triggered by the shame he feels that his father is gay. This is one of at least five secondary stories that never really gets resolved. This won't matter to those who just want to see a lot of mixed martial arts, but it does severely limit any interest in this movie beyond those who are already fans of MMA.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.